Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241 H/855 AD), renowned for his profound knowledge of hadith--the reports of the Prophet's sayings and deeds--is a major figure in the history of Islam. Ibn Hanbal was famous for living according to his own strict interpretation of the Prophetic model and for denying himself even the most basic comforts in a city then one of the wealthiest in the word, and despite belonging to a prominent family. His piety and austerity made him a folk hero, especially after his principled resistance to the attempts of two Abbasid caliphs to force him to accept rationalist doctrine. His subsequent imprisonment and flogging became one of the most dramatic episodes of medieval Islamic history. Ibn Hanbal's resistance influenced the course of Islamic law, the rise of Sunnism, and the legislative authority of the caliphate. tells the formidable life tale of one of the most influential Muslims in history.
Virtues of the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal is a translation of the biography of Ibn Hanbal penned by the Baghdad preacher, scholar, and storyteller Ibn al-Jawzi (d. 597 H/1201 AD). Volume One presents the first half of the text, offering insights into Ibn Hanbal's childhood, education, and adult life, including his religious doctrines, his dealings with other scholars, and his personal habits. Set against the background of fierce debates over the role of reason and the basis of legitimate government, Virtues of the Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal tells the formidable life tale of one of the most influential Muslims in history.